If Arizona were to adopt an integrated austerity program, we could stop COVID. It would require 40 days of isolation, but without doing it, COVID will drag on and the Arizona Republic will keep limping along with no solution.
A committed public and government could “Get it Done in 21,” but my suggestions will be unwelcome to an American public driven by an outlandish notion of freedom; they will also be insulting to a governmental and industrial/technological base that has never been asked to work across boundaries for a common goal that has everything to do with the common good but nothing to do with profit.
Of course, specific steps would be the challenge here, and it would take leadership and coordination. But I thought that’s what government was about. Since nobody is talking about what to do, rather wasting energy by pointing fingers and blaming, I’ll say what we must do.
These 9 steps require coordination between Government and the fields of Education, Public Safety, Medical, Technology, Transportation, Banking/Finance, Utilities and power.
Each service sector will have to forego the safety and comfort of their tribal bubble and work together for the first time ever. If they did, we would stop COVID. This is what it takes:
- Suspend all interstate travel except for food, medical emergencies, and bereavement travel. If someone comes in from another state, they’d be in a two-week required quarantine.
- Limit gasoline purchases 5 gal week smaller cars 10 gallons week larger vehicles. The exceptions are official vehicles for food, public safety, and medical. Stay home.
- Curfews for everyone 10 pm to 7 am.
- Engage with others at 10 feet of social distance, not 6 feet.
- Mask mandate every time someone is out of their house– cm’ mon people, is it really so damn hard to put a piece of cloth over your mouth and nose?
- Suspend payments for rents, mortgages, utilities, credit, and all bills for 40 days
- Close all businesses except hospitals and medical, food stores, and the transportation industry. Government and other industries must step in and help businesses so that when 40 days are completed, they do not lose their livelihoods. Emergency utility and technology service calls only.
- All education suspended 40 days, better yet, cancel the entire year and start over again next year. Kids lose one year, but what are we really racing against. Everyone keeps saying that we’re falling behind; but falling behind what? The whole world is under a pandemic, nobody is running away with some “race.” Many kids today in school will live into their 90’s. From that perspective, does one year make a big difference. Do they suddenly stop learning at 18? Why does everyone seem to be in such a big hurry to get kids through school? So they graduate at 19 in 2022 rather than 18 in 2021 so what. Stay home.
- Cancel all sports and entertainment for 40 days.
During these 40 days, Government and all industries listed above have one job and that is to work cooperatively and actually plan a rollout for three important needs:
- PLAN Economic recovery state by state.
- PLAN Vaccinations to get it done in 21.
- PLAN and support all the people during this time, so they can live and eat.
The hope rests in a vaccine, but the virus is mutating and there is no guarantee that a dysfunctional government will even get an effective vaccine to us in time for this first strain even as it changes mid-stream and possibly renders the vaccine impotent.
To fix that which is broken doesn’t require a 5000 page bill; it requires elected officials and leaders in private industry to do their jobs. It’s time we the people demand they do what they are elected to do, and its time we stop enabling them to abdicate their responsibilities.
We let them off the hook every time we hold a bake sale and stock food banks with private donations. Those needs must be met, and right now the needs are overwhelming, but taking care of the citizenry is the first job of the government; it’s what our tax money is meant for. When it’s a government of by and for the people, the people must be TKO.
In these 40 days, citizens could take time to decide what’s important to them. In the short term, if we want to be free from the clutches of COVID we can ask what we are willing to do. And in the long term, we can ask if we want clean air and water, and if we want our great grandkids to not hate us for leaving them a ruined planet. To me, it’s time we get the priorities in order right now.